Haven't made a decision yet about summer camp? Don't fret. Plenty of options remain. From geocaching to dinosaur exploration to Lego design to Quidditch, day camps on Long Island are offering new programs this summer.
Here are a handful of first-time offerings.
Hidden Pond Day Camp at The Rinx, 660 Terry Rd., Hauppauge
COST $2,070 for three weeks (up to $4,410 for eight weeks); lunch is included, but transportation is not.
INFO 631-232-3222; therinx.com/camp
Hidden Pond will add a geocaching program called "educaching" that will be incorporated into the camp day, with groups engaging in the activity once or twice a week throughout the summer. Using a GPS and working in pairs, kids in fourth through eighth grades will search for caches that the staff will have hidden on the camp's 97 acres. A cache could be, for instance, a small, sealed cup holding coins or a trinket that's hidden in a tree stump. "It's basically like treasure hunting for kids," says Elizabeth Castrogiovanni, who will be overseeing the new programming. Kids will use latitude and longitude coordinates to help them find the caches, and they may sometimes have to solve a puzzle first to get the coordinates to plug into the GPS, she says. The educaching program is based on an education curriculum created by teacher and author Jason Hubbard of Ohio. "We're big on 21st Century skills at our camp -- critical thinking, collaboration, teamwork and communication," says camp director Peter Trupia.
Lego Design; Architecture Design
Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, 185 Colonial Springs Rd., Wheatley Heights
COST $2,925 for four-week session, $3,675 for seven-week session, transportation and fees additional; lunch not available
INFO 631-643-7900; usdan.com
Lego Design is being offered by the camp's art department, says Dale Lewis, Usdan's executive director. "Lego is a perfect way to build something beautiful out of something that might otherwise be viewed as mundane," he says. Kids in grades 2 to 12 can take Lego Design as a one-hour-a-day minor, and the camp has set aside enough space that projects can be constructed over time. Usdan is also adding Architecture Design for kids in seventh through 12th grades who opt for the seven-week session, and the major class will meet for two hours a day to explore the basics of architecture. Kids will use CAD -- computer aided design -- programming to envision structures.
WHAT ELSE IS NEW Quidditch. Usdan is instituting a recreation option based on the game played in the Harry Potter books and movies, using broomsticks, balls and hoops. It will be run by a former member of the Hofstra University Quidditch Team, Lewis says.
Crestwood Day Camp, 313 Round Swamp Rd., Melville
COST $2,795 to $4,395 for four weeks; $4,495 to $7,275 for the full eight weeks, depending on age; transportation and lunch included
INFO 631-692-6361; crestwoodcountryday.com
A new addition for the camp's 60th anniversary summer is a spray park open to all campers ages 2 to 13. It will include about 40 different features, including water that jets up from the ground, an umbrella that drips fountains of water, elevated buckets that fill and dump and gushers that kids can steer and shoot. "For the summer, what could be better?" says Mark Hemmerdinger, a co-owner of the camp. Kids will visit the spray park in addition to their regularly scheduled swimming pool sessions, Hemmerdinger says.
Hofstra Summer Camps, Hofstra University, Hempstead
COST $1,899, includes transportation and lunch
Tyrannosaurus rex. Triceratops. Pterodactyl. Now kids can go to camp to study them. Dinosaur Adventures is a new two-week offering for second through fifth graders run by the Game Builders Academy at Hofstra Summer Camps. Camp will be held in a computer lab -- and one of the activities will be for campers to create their own dinosaur on the computer -- but other science and art activities will be part of the program, says Michael Pugliese, co-founder and vice president of the Game Builders Academy. For instance, campers will participate in a mock dinosaur dig. Each camper will have a mold to work with that has dinosaur bone pieces in it. As they dig through, they will try to identify the dinosaur by the bones they find and then attempt to put the pieces back together like a paleontologist, Pugliese says.